Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Cars: The future is electric?

Massive investment in developing a network 11,000 plug-in points for electric cars across the current! And the North East is officially the Low Carbon Region with responsibility for developing electric cars in this country. Hat's off to the marketing people at Nissan Sunderland.

And we're getting hundreds of plug-in points in the North East too - not only in the Tyne & Wear conurbation, but a whole series strung along Hadrians Wall.

So yes - electric vehicles are quieter and cause less pollution on the roads, but there's the rub. Until we get electricity generation sorted out - with the right mix of low carbon renewable energy - electric cars will just increase carbon emissions at the power stations. And if our power grid is creaking now - how can it possibly take the strain of the extra demand from hundreds of thousands of electric cars.

No - I'm afraid electric cars may be another form of greenwash, from people scared to admit even to themselves the scale of change needed to reduce CO2 emissions by 34% by 2020, let alone 80% by 2050. I rather think we need start planning to massively reduce the need to travel - and that goes for freight transport too.

Or - if we are going for electric cars, then we need a low carbon generating network first.

No comments: